Definition: A term or phrase representing the primary topic(s) on which a work is focused.
Comment: "subject" is a wrapper tag that binds together subelements. If the subject is a controlled heading from an authoritative list, use the authority attribute to indicate the authority. If it is not desired to parse the subject subelements, use "subject" "topic" and a string. If no authority attribute is present, the data is assumed to be an uncontrolled term. Repeat the subject for each subject string.
Subelements: topic

Application: "topic" is used as the tag for any topical subjects that are not appropriate in the "geographic", "temporal", "titleInfo", or "name" subelements. If there is an uncontrolled term, "topic" is used (since "subject" is a binding element). "topic" is equivalent to MARC 21 fields 650 and 6XX subfields $x and $v (with authority attribute defined) and MARC 21 field 653 with no authority attribute.

Note that form subdivisions in LCSH are coded as "topic" because it was felt that the distinction was too difficult to make.


Application: "geographic" is used for geographic subject terms that are not parsed as hierarchical geographics. If the geographic name is part of a corporate body (i.e., United States. Senate), it is coded as "name", not "geographic". "geographic" is equivalent to MARC 21 field 651 and 6XX subfield $z.


Application: "temporal" is used for chronological subject terms or temporal coverage. It may be expressed as a controlled subject term or as a structured date using the same data definition as MODS dates. "temporal" is equivalent to MARC 21 fields 045 and 6XX subfield $y.


Application: "titleInfo" includes a title used as a subject. All subelements and attributes used under the top-level element "titleInfo" may be used with this subelement. An authority attribute may also be used at this level if desired, in addition to at the highest level (under "subject"). Equivalent to MARC 21 field 630.


Application: "name" includes a name used as a subject. All subelements and attributes used under the top-level element "name" may be used. An authority attribute may also be used at this level if desired in addition to at the highest level (under "subject"). Equivalent to MARC 21 fields 600, 610, 611.


Application: "genre" includes a genre or form used as part of a subject string when the subject authority distinguishes subdivisions of the main subject (e.g. LCSH). If describing the genre of a resource as a whole, use in the "genre" element. This is used to facilitate mapping between subject authorities that use form subdivisions. Equivalent to subfield $v in MARC 21 6XX fields.


Definition: A geographic name given in a hierarchical form relating to the resource.

Application: "hierarchicalGeographic" includes a hierarchical form of place name which is both readable by humans and parsable by machines. This form can be applied to the degree of specificity that is known or relevant and used to generate browsable hierarchies even when values are specified to different levels. Explicit inclusion of the complete hierarchy is of potential benefit for automated consultation of a gazetteer to derive map coordinates or to support a map-based interface for searching by country or state. It is equivalent to MARC 21 field 752.

  • Subelements
    The following subelements are defined for "hierarchicalGeographic". They are enumerated below. In general, use the term most commonly used in the original language or its translation for the geographic entity. First order political divisions may have different terms depending on the country. For instance, first order political divisions in the U.S. are states; in Canada provinces; in United Kingdom, England, Scotland and Wales are countries and next order divisions (e.g. Yorkshire) are counties.

    • continent - Includes Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, South America.
    • country - Includes a country, i.e. a political entity considered a country.
    • province - Includes first order political divisions called provinces within a country, e.g. Canada.
    • region - Includes regions that have status as a jurisdiction, usually incorporating more than one first level jurisdiction.
    • state - Includes first order political divisions called states within a country, e.g. in U.S., Argentina, Italy. Use also for France département.
    • territory - A geographical area belonging to or under the jurisdiction of a governmental authority.
    • county - Includes the largest local administrative unit in various countries, e.g. England.
    • city - Use for an inhabited place incorporated as a city, town, etc.
    • island - Use for a tract of land surrounded by water and smaller than a continent but is not itself a separate country.
    • area - Use for a non-jurisdictional geographic entity.

Application: "cartographics" is a wrapper element that includes cartographic data indicating spatial coverage. It is equivalent to MARC 21 fields 034 and 255. If desired, cartographic elements may be bound together with a geographic name (hierarchical or otherwise) within a "subject" element.

  • Subelements
    The following subelements are defined for "cartographics". They are enumerated below.

    • coordinates - "coordinates" contains a statement of coordinates covered by the resource. One or more statements may be supplied. If one is supplied, it is a point (i.e., a single location); if two, it is a line; if more than two, it is a n-sided polygon where n=number of coordinates assigned. No three points should be co-linear, and coordinates should be supplied in polygon-traversal order.
    • scale - "scale" provides a statement of scale. It may include any equivalency statements, vertical scales or vertical exaggeration statements for relief models and other three-dimensional items.
    • projection - "projection" provides a statement of projection.

Application: "geographicCode" includes a geographic area code associated with a resource. It is equivalent to MARC 21 field 043.

A geographic code that represents the same entity as a term in "geographic" is included within the same "subject" element.

  • Attribute
    • authority - The name of the authoritative list from which a controlled geographic code came. Values used with this attribute are the following:
      • marcgac
      • marccountry
      • iso3166

Application: "occupation" includes a term that is descriptive of the occupation reflected in the contents of the described materials. It is not used to list the occupations of the creators of the described materials, unless those occupations are significantly reflected in the materials themselves or bear some relationship to the materials. It is roughly equivalent to MARC 21 field 656.